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How to Destroy your Anime Backlog


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BrandonL337



Joined: 09 Sep 2012
Posts: 88
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:19 am Reply with quote
Great column, will have to take some of these into consideration.

Personally I find my biggest problem is that, with my job, and my other interests I don't have much time to plow through anime like I used to. I need to get back in the habit of watching 1 or 2 episode before/after work like when I was watching Daredevil.
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WashuTakahashi



Joined: 18 Mar 2015
Posts: 415
Location: Chicago, IL
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:26 am Reply with quote
This was a pretty good list!

I'm having a similar problem myself, and have been managing to tackle it. My problem? Over the last 2 years I discovered both rightstuf and complete manga sets on ebay. Both led me to having literally hundreds of volumes of manga I haven't read and upwards of 30 anime series I own and have never watched.

The first year I was "going to get around to it" and just...didn't, for the most part. This year, I told myself I'm not allowed to participate in rightstuf's thanksgiving/Christmas sale unless I at least finish my entire anime backlog. If you've ever seen rightstuf's sales...you know that's something you don't want to miss. My plan of action was to watch anime on the weekends, and read manga during the week. This works out really well since if I like an anime I can easily marathon the whole thing in a day, and if I do that during the week I'll end up going to work on no sleep and hate myself. With manga, I can at least force myself to stop when I finish a volume.

It's been kind of slow, but I've managed to kill off a lot of series over the past few months. I started with the shortest ones, anime series that were only 12 episodes, mangas with only 4 volumes...unfortunately, now I'm down to the longer stuff. anime that span 3 seasons, manga that are 20+ volumes...like the poster said, it seems like a chore, but once I sit down and play episode 1 or start reading, it goes by faster and more enjoyably. So the best advice was really already given, just sit down and press play already!
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BodaciousSpacePirate
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Joined: 17 Apr 2015
Posts: 2970
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:34 am Reply with quote
This was a cool idea for an article. Thanks, Zac!
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Asrialys



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 1133
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:40 am Reply with quote
Ugh. My backlog is an absurdly high percentage of my entire book and disc collection. Especially the books. Just. Can't. Stop. Buying...

While it isn't quite a to-do list, I've kept a pretty detailed Excel workbook of my entire collection for about nine years. I'm both amused and saddened when I fill in the date of when I watched/read something and look at the date I bought it...

I do a pretty good job on keeping up with simulcasts and that probably contributes to what little time I put toward my collection. But about 2-3 shows each season sometimes join the backlog...


Last edited by Asrialys on Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:44 am; edited 1 time in total
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MisterLuck



Joined: 19 Apr 2014
Posts: 67
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:40 am Reply with quote
Quote:
If a show hasn't grabbed you in three episodes, you've officially tried. Three episodes of anime is roughly an hour of your time if you skip the OP/ED, which is more than enough.


Hate to say it, but this rule doesn't apply to everyone and most series IMO. I'm so happy I didn't give up on Slayers, Kuroko no Basket, and all the Shonens like One Piece.
What I do is apply a percentage or a fraction rule on a series that runs two cours and above. For example, I watched a sixth of Slayers 1st season, which would be six episodes (2 hours) and I did a tenth of One Piece, which was forty episodes at the time.
I'm also not much of critic and so that could play apart in me watching a series until I'm literally falling asleep. Which hasn't happened since Linebarrels of Iron some odd years ago.


Last edited by MisterLuck on Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:41 am; edited 1 time in total
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Merxamers



Joined: 09 Dec 2013
Posts: 717
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:40 am Reply with quote
This may have been just the article i needed to read. I only started watching anime and reading manga about 6 years ago, so i often feel pressure to watch or read certain things just so i could be a part of the conversation. I have a large amount of anime i've 'been meaning to watch', so maybe this is a sign that i should start pruning that list down.

I should probably try to be more willing to cut series off, since i don't do it that often, but i think it's usually been a positive move when i do. I dropped Bodacious Space Pirates when it turned out to be a completely different (and much more boring) series than I expected, I dropped Darker Than Black when I stopped feeling any enthusiasm for the next episodes, and i dropped Fate Stay/Night: UBW after Saber got kidnapped because i didn't find it enjoyable to watch anymore; so far, life has gone on as usual.

Thanks for the article Smile
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Greed1914



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 3813
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:45 am Reply with quote
These tips are things I've found myself using recently. For instance, the one about pruning things off the list is one I applied to X recently. I started it because it is on Funimation's site and I felt like I should try to explore CLAMP's various stories because I like xxxHolic and Tsubasa, and CLAMP's stories connect to varying degrees. After a few episodes, it just wasn't doing it for me so I decided I'd get to it. Later I realized that feeling like I should watch something was not the same as actually wanting to watch it, and I've come to terms with the fact that I'll probably never finish that show.

Figuring out when to stop watching something is pretty hard for me. Pumpkin Scissors is a show that I sort of struggled with because sometimes it seemed interesting, but then I realized that if I started and stopped watching a show twice, there was probably something about it that wasn't working for me.
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kadian1364



Joined: 06 Oct 2006
Posts: 60
Location: Indiana
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:49 am Reply with quote
For most working folks, where anime is a hobby and not a professional career, there's too many interesting or noteworthy shows that crop up every season to realistically see them all. You have to set your bar pretty high on shows you will watch from your backlog, which is where I strongly agree with Zac about cutting backlog lists mercilessly. I keep influential classics, friends' very favoritest shows, and titles that continually generate interesting discussion and get referenced years after they aired. Time will sand away all but the most worthwhile.

I will add an unwillingness to drop mediocre shows tends to compound backlog problems. You think, "I can't start anything else until I finish this" but you can't get the motivation to watch the last 15 eps of the one you're on, you can't make any progress. Occasionally you can reignite your motivation by engaging in discussions about what you've seen and where the show might go, but usually it's better to cut your losses and move on.


Last edited by kadian1364 on Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:56 am; edited 1 time in total
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Saffire
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Joined: 25 Nov 2007
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Location: Iowa, USA
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:51 am Reply with quote
Crunchyroll's queue system has been really useful in managing my simulcast streaming habits. At the start of a season, I load up my queue with whatever I think I'll enjoy and just start watching. A few weeks later, I can easily see which series I'm watching consistently and which ones I'm not and make decisions about what I want to do with them from there. Some get dropped, some get shuffled to different parts of the queue (Crunchyroll doesn't support lists but I have different sections in my head for simulcast, backlog, stuff I just don't want to remove from my queue because I love it, etc).

My real problem at this point is that I've gotten so used to watching anime streaming that I keep forgetting to look at my physical backlog...
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WashuTakahashi



Joined: 18 Mar 2015
Posts: 415
Location: Chicago, IL
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:54 am Reply with quote
MisterLuck wrote:
Quote:
If a show hasn't grabbed you in three episodes, you've officially tried. Three episodes of anime is roughly an hour of your time if you skip the OP/ED, which is more than enough.


Hate to say it, but this rule doesn't apply to everyone and most series IMO. I'm so happy I didn't give up on Slayers, Kuroko no Basket, and all the Shonens like One Piece.
What I do is apply a percentage or a fraction rule on a series that runs two cours and above. For example, I watched a sixth of Slayers 1st season, which would be six episodes (2 hours) and I did a tenth of One Piece, which was forty episodes at the time.
I'm also not much of critic and so that could play apart in me watching a series until I'm literally falling asleep. Which hasn't happened since Linebarrels of Iron some odd years ago.


I feel like 3 episodes is pretty fair in most cases. There have been a lot of anime I watched 2-3 episodes and was like "Nope, can't do it anymore" (looking at you Modoka Magica...) The only one I watched longer before dropping was Magi. There was so much hype and I expected it to be good, and finally about 15 episodes in (whenever they got to Sinad's island...somewhere in there) I realized, I'm really not enjoying this even though I'm trying so hard to like it. Finally had to call it quits. But in general, I (and I think most people) know within 3 episodes if they're going to enjoy something or not. There's the occasional show that starts slow and picks up momentum if you can suffer through the beginning, but those shows are the exception, not the rule I'd say.
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AkiraKaneda



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 61
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:59 am Reply with quote
The biggest difficulty in culling my own personal list is the sheer amount of money spent on series that have been languishing in the cabinet for a great long time. There are shows in there I bought to review for my site...ten years ago. Ouchloads of money on some series I really know now aren't worth the time of day. But sometimes you just have to get over your poor financial decisions. I came to that realization around episode 16 of Blue Seed a few weeks ago, recognizing that I didn't want to watch anything because I felt obligated to watch it because I bought it when it was still singles. I'd kind of hated it for several episodes. Stopping was very freeing, and now I'm on to enjoying Excel Saga.
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ArthurFrDent



Joined: 05 Aug 2008
Posts: 466
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:10 am Reply with quote
Great piece, man.

It's kinda odd how you make things a habit, and then they become this wall you've built around something...

Since I tend to like physical media, I have a physical backlog... and because that's big, I've avoided going the crunchyroll route, because, wow, immediate infinite backlog addition.

Which takes me out of what's current, because not keeping up.

But then if you look at it as entertainment and not collecting, that changes things... but that is kinda the hybrid that storytelling becomes, regardless if it's books, shows, or visual art. You either collect the thing or the story or both, but we live in a time of riches.

oh, and that RS! sale previous poster mentioned...
ah, deadly joy, that.

Essentially you just can't watch and see everything.
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Kimiko_0



Joined: 31 Aug 2008
Posts: 1786
Location: Leiden, NL, EU
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:15 am Reply with quote
Instead of showing a pic of a word processor, why not point people to ANN's very own Encyclopedia? It has this handy "Want to see" feature. Which you'd probably already come across when checking out the info on recommended anime, right?

Another backlog problem is anime you've already watched that get a second season (or third, or movie, or OVA) later on. Even if you loved the first season, the time commitment to rewatching that to get back into the story is a little steep Confused

As for my own backlog, recently I got it to under 100 titles. Yay! \o/

Most of your suggestions are things you learn over time. When you start out watching anime, you don't know your own tastes yet and try all sorts. After a few years, you can dismiss recommendations before watching or after only a few episodes because you know you're not going to like them.
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MisterLuck



Joined: 19 Apr 2014
Posts: 67
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:24 am Reply with quote
WashuTakahashi wrote:

I feel like 3 episodes is pretty fair in most cases. There have been a lot of anime I watched 2-3 episodes and was like "Nope, can't do it anymore" (looking at you Modoka Magica...) The only one I watched longer before dropping was Magi. There was so much hype and I expected it to be good, and finally about 15 episodes in (whenever they got to Sinad's island...somewhere in there) I realized, I'm really not enjoying this even though I'm trying so hard to like it. Finally had to call it quits. But in general, I (and I think most people) know within 3 episodes if they're going to enjoy something or not. There's the occasional show that starts slow and picks up momentum if you can suffer through the beginning, but those shows are the exception, not the rule I'd say.

I agree it is fair for most cases in one cour series, after all it is rare those one cour series give you an ending worth watching and with such a short span of time I think it's important to sell your series to people in the first two episodes.
I enjoyed Magi and Madoka Magica I just couldn't find anything wrong with it nor was it boring for me, but I'm also like I said not a critic and I care very little for hype surrounding a series.
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DevoKarasu



Joined: 26 Mar 2015
Posts: 6
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:27 am Reply with quote
I've kept my list on sticky notes for a long time now, backing it up on a USB just in case my computer dies. Laughing
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